Can You Call Me Country?
I live in the Hills of Tennessee
I drink wine and I don’t smoke—
To some that ain’t country—
That’s a joke.
But I love my wife and my brown dog
I even love to drive
My old CJ-5.
Maybe I ain’t country,
But I sure do feel alive.
The air is clean, the water pure—
If drinkin’ whiskey or sneaking ’round
Makes my country label more secure—
Then don’t call me country—
Call me what you will—
Just let me live,
Then when I die—
Bury me here on my Tennessee hill.
December 13, 2016
Motivation for poem—
The Dolly Parton fund raiser for the forest fire devastation in Sevier County, Tennessee, featured one country performer after another. The lyrics sung by some afforded a whole different picture of country than what I can plead to. About two hours into the show the definitional dichotomy of “country” began to take poetic form. I fully realize I share a great many of the values of being country and yet would not want to be credited with others. The question remains then, how do you measure your country quotient? I have a feeling there may not be a standard by which to measurable. There are degrees of country depending upon the self-evaluation of the observer—the more country I consider myself, the higher the definitional bar of country. As the poem says, regardless of how an observer sees me—I love the Tennessee hills and embrace the lifestyle. May my bones go back to dust in the embrace of those hills.